In India, police officers have been beaten with batons for rule violations as the country continues to battle a devastating second wave of Covid.
New stringent restrictions have been put in place in Assam as the northeastern state desperately tries to control a rising fall rate.
On Saturday, the local government issued new rules to be imposed indefinitely starting the following day, with law enforcement apparently having a hard time dealing with floods.
It is now mandatory for shops to close from 11 a.m. every day, while a total ban on movement applies from 12 p.m. to 5 a.m. – meaning residents only have seven hours of freedom.
Certain vehicles are not even allowed to be used during curfew.
An ordinance detailing the new rules has been signed by Secretary General Jishnu Baruah and applies to urban areas as well as areas within 3 miles of the periphery of the governing body’s constituency.
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The curfew will remain in place in rural areas from 6 p.m.
Oddly enough, the order also states that vehicles with odd registration numbers will be registered on odd days, while even registrations will have the green light to drive on even days.
Yesterday, photos of officers in the state surfaced in broad daylight wielding long stick-style batons at people believed to have broken the curfew.
One of the worrying snapshots shows a police officer swinging his baton like a baseball bat with two hands at an unarmed man in a face mask, and another shows the same officer chasing the man.
A pair of officers surround a man with their batons raised, while another photo shows a police officer swinging a man’s bicycle wheels as he drives past.
A photo appears to show the moment of impact when a man is hit surrounded by four officers.
In the past 15 days, Assam has recorded 71,856 new infections, according to the health department.
India’s number of coronavirus infections reached nearly 24.7 million on Sunday and rose 311,170 new cases in the past 24 hours, while the death toll rose by 4,077.
India’s number stands at 24.68 million, the death toll at 270,284, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
It comes as piles of corpses buried in shallow sand graves that washed up on the banks of the Ganges at Phaphamau Ghat in Prayagraj during heavy rain showers.
Authorities in Uttar Pradesh have been urged to avoid disposing of the dead in water, despite the rising number of deaths.
However, the price of cremations has reportedly tripled in some areas due to increasing demand.
A state government spokesman for Prayagraj yesterday denied reports that more than 1,000 bodies of Covid victims had been recovered from rivers in the past two weeks.
“I bet these bodies have nothing to do with Covid,” he said.
He explained that due to a Hindu tradition, some villagers do not cremate their dead during certain periods of religious importance and instead dig graves on river banks.